M&S to close sites amid £201m loss

The department store chain is set to reduce the number of its ‘full line’ sites from around 250 to 180 in response

Marks and Spencer has swung to a statutory £201m loss in its financial results for the year ended 3 April 2021, down from a profit of £67m a year before, which it primarily attributed to lockdowns and tiered pandemic restrictions over the period.

This represents a 31.5% drop in total revenue during the year, with clothing and home sales falling 31%, despite online sales rising 54%.

However, the chain has now returned to profitability with headline pre-tax profits before adjusted items coming to £41.6m for the year to 3 April .

Adjusted items included £234m of costs related to its transformation plan, including redundancies and store closures.

Had it not been helped by a £78.4m profit surge following its Ocado joint venture, the group would have likely recorded a headline loss in its full-year results

In response to these results, the retailer is set to reduce the number of its “full line” sites from around 250 to 180 in response. According to The Telegraph, the retailer is reportedly set to close at least 30 stores as part of this “transformation”.

In its latest full-year results, the chain’s clothing and home offering recorded an operating loss of £129.4m, while M&S’ supermarket food revenues rose by 1.3% without including the contribution of its online delivery partnership with Ocado.

Steve Rowe, M&S’ CEO: “In a year like no other we have delivered a resilient trading performance, thanks in no small part to the extraordinary efforts of our colleagues.

“In addition, by going further and faster in our transformation through the Never the Same Again programme, we moved beyond fixing the basics to forge a reshaped M&S.”

He added: “With the right team in place to accelerate change in the trading businesses and build a trajectory for future growth, we now have a clear line of sight on the path to make M&S special again. The transformation has moved to the next phase.”

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